ASHEVILLE – While some want to spend a night by a warm campfire under the stars, others prefer the safety and security of a regular hotel. Some want something in between — and it looks like they may be getting more options.

A new glamour camping, or “glamping,” development has been proposed for East Buncombe County near Black Mountain, and is set to appear before the Board of Adjustments on Dec. 13, according to county planning documents.

A rendering of the ‘Cloud Dome’ glamping cabin.

The development, dubbed “Bel Air Asheville,” is proposed to bring 89 commercial units to a 104-acre property. Of those units, 65 will be reserved for various “glamping” units, along with eight on-site employee housing units, spas, a grocery store, pickleball court, petting zoo, zen garden, amphitheater and a community garden. All units will be for rent.

Glamping has become popular across Western North Carolina, offering an alternative to regular hotels or rustic camping.

The development has been proposed by Bel Air Resorts Group, a Miami-based international resort group. Bel Air also has developments in Canada, the Bahamas and a planned future location in the Dominican Republic.

A rendering of "Savoy Model" glamping cabin at Bel Air Asheville.

A rendering of “Savoy Model” glamping cabin at Bel Air Asheville.

In the development proposal narrative, Bel Air’s goals are laid out for the glamping site.

“The planned unit development will be used as a glamping resort with various uses such as hiking trails, a farm with a community farm and community garden, and other amenities as described herein and as shown on the site plans,” the narrative reads.

“The purpose of the development will be to highlight the existing natural environment, spacious views, and tranquility of the surrounding rural area.”

A map of the "Resort Core" of the glamping development proposed off of Major Mountain road in East Buncombe, near Black Mountain.

A map of the “Resort Core” of the glamping development proposed off of Major Mountain road in East Buncombe, near Black Mountain.

On a development map, the site plans indicate that the development will include a “salt water pod,” a “steam pod” and three “massage pods,” along with a horse barn.

Though planning documents do not include pricing, camping in one of the “Deluxe Domes” at Bel Air’s location in Mont-Tremblant, Canada, will range from “$375-$875” a night, according to the Bel Air Tremblant website.

The land is currently owned by Chateaux Partners, LLC, but planning documents indicate Bel Air Resorts Group will purchase the land prior to final approval and construction. The land is adjacent to the Buncombe-McDowell county border.

A rendering of the inside of the "Cloud Dome" glamping cabin.

A rendering of the inside of the “Cloud Dome” glamping cabin.

The project is seeking a special use permit from the county’s Board of Adjustment, a quasi-judicial process during which board members decide how current laws apply to an application, obtain evidence and review ordinance standards.

As of Nov. 24, no applications for legal standing against the development have been uploaded to the Buncombe County Board of Adjustments website. Legal standing can only be acquired by those who are determined to have probable damages from a development by the Board of Adjustments.

More: Word from the Smokies: Glamping Eco-Adventure supports biodiversity study

A rendering of the on-site employee housing at Bel Air Asheville

A rendering of the on-site employee housing at Bel Air Asheville

Applications for standing must be submitted 24 hours before the Board of Adjustments meeting.

Board members may not take subjective observations or personal preferences into account when making a decision about project applications, they may only look at facts, sworn testimony and laws. The Board of Adjustment will meet at noon at 200 College St. in the Board of Commissioners Chambers on Dec. 13.

The development will be heard alongside the proposed 131 townhomes at 145 Sheehan Road in Fletcher.

More: New hotel proposed for Biltmore Village area; what do plans say?

Will Hofmann is the Growth and Development Reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times, part of the USA Today Network. Got a tip? Email him at

This article originally appeared on Asheville Citizen Times: Glamping village proposed near Asheville with spas pickleball courts

published 2023-11-28 03:26:35